EV charge-point operator ubitricity and UK Power Networks (UKPN) have announced a new partnership aimed at revolutionising EV charging by shifting demand away from peak periods and creating added flexibility for EV drivers.
The deal, described as ”the first of its kind”, aims to demonstrate the potential for the EV charging industry to help shape a more sustainable energy landscape.
Under the terms of an initial two-year ‘flexibility tender’ agreement, ubitricity, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shell plc, with a network of more than 7,000 public charge points, will implement a pioneering pilot programme across a number of its public EV charge points to shift a significant portion of network utilisation for EV charging away from peak times. This will reduce strain on the electricity grid during periods of high demand.
The company says that as EV ownership grows, high volumes of drivers charging at the same time of day (eg after work) will create a surge in demand at a time when there is already high electricity usage. It aims to demonstrate how innovative approaches to managing the times when people charge can help the grid to cope, while still providing convenient and fairly priced charging.
While smart charging is available with some home chargers, ubitricity says it is the first company to introduce it at scale on a public charging network. By actively managing the charging schedule of its charge points and promoting solutions such as ubitricity’s smart charging, which allows customers to schedule charging sessions to pause during peak hours (4-7pm) over the winter period, ubitricity will support UKPN to alleviate pressure on the electricity grid. The approach aligns with Ubitricity’s mission to create a sustainable future and promote responsible EV charging - which can reduce stress on the electricity grid, particularly at peak times.
“This agreement will directly contribute to lowering CO2 emissions by reducing demands on the grid at peak times, when fossil fuels are most likely to be used to generate electricity. said Toby Butler, managing director at ubitricity UK.
”We are proud to be the first fully public charging network engaging with electricity distributors to actively shift charging demand away from peak times, optimising EV charging infrastructure for the benefit of the grid and the environment,”
“By embracing innovation and collaboration with partners such as UKPN we believe we can drive positive change, combining this together with our introduction of our smart charging feature making it even easier for customers to skip peak charging, we’re both reducing the use of fossil fuels and lowering EV charging costs for our consumers.”
Sotiris Georgiopoulos, director of DSO at UKPN, said: “This agreement is great news for customers because we are opening up opportunities for even more people through flexible charging. Widening participation in flexibility is a key part of our plan to keep connecting low-carbon technologies to the electricity network while delivering savings to customers of £60m in traditional network investment in 2023 alone.”